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I have a 3TB Seagate USB external drive (MBR scheme), divided in 2 primary partitions: one of ~500 GB has been created and formatted on Windows using Paragon Partition Manager with HSF+.

I did a full system backup using Time Machine to this partition (apparently, successfully - or so I thought). (Directly, not as an image.)

When I try to follow this tutorial: http://support.apple.com/kb/PH14185 , as soon as I press Command R, I get thrown into an Internet Recovery, which takes about an hour to complete. I might be wrong, but, according to some research I've done, this should be the behavior when I don't have a dedicated recovery partition? If so - I don't see the point in creating the full system backup if I cannot readily make use of it.

After said hour passes, I am presented with the options that should have readily been available to begin with, and I am able to do a system restore from the Time Machine.

Said restore, though, ends after a while in (what should have been?) a boot screen: I get the spinning wheel but the Apple logo is switched for a "crossed O" as in, the "Access denined" symbol.

How could I prevent the Internet Recovery to take place, go directly to perform a Time Machine recovery? Any suggestions about the second issue, might they be connected somehow?

  • As an aside: Time Machine is primarily focused on backing up user data on a drive. It purposely omits data that can be gotten back from the OS installation media. See: apple.stackexchange.com/a/115024/292 for more details on exclusions. A full recovery necessarily involves laying down a clean OS and then overlaying the latest changes by using the Time Machine backup. That's why you're getting sent to the Internet Recovery phase. – Ian C. Sep 3 '14 at 3:24
  • Thank you, Ian. Following Apple's recommendation for a "full system backup/recovery using Time Machine" (during backup, I didn't exclude anything as far as the OS folders/files go), even though there are the files that are on purpose excluded in the background, I would expect to be able to get my system back in quite a "similar" state. (I am doing some "experimental" development, and I'm looking to get the system as close "back" as possible. I'm also looking into SuperDuper!, as an alternative, once I manage to get forwarded anywhere else than to "Internet Recovery"). Thanks for the heads-up! – elder elder Sep 3 '14 at 15:08
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Your problem is almost certainly related to partitioning on a Windows machine. You can verify this by using Disk Utility to look at the Drive, in particular the Partition Map Scheme. This needs to be GUID Partition Table but is probably MBR.

You would need to repartition on OS X, but this will need you to erase all data.

  • That might very well be the case. Let me check this and get back with the results. In the mean time, thank you for taking to to share this! – elder elder Sep 3 '14 at 15:09
  • would I be facing the same issue if I were to backup, again, to the MBR-partitioned drive, but an image of the OS X instead of directly to the drive? – elder elder Sep 3 '14 at 15:51

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